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Street improvement hearing draws crowd

Fri, Oct 26th, 2007
Posted in Government

SPRING VALLEY - There was standing room only at the Spring Valley City Council meeting Monday night, October 22. The public hearing for the proposed improvement project for Hudson/Jefferson and Courtland Streets drew approximately 50 people that had questions and concerns about the project. The total estimated project cost is $2,006,338.75.

Costs for twenty five percent of the project, approximately $501,000, will be assessed to property owners. Of this amount, Spring Valley City property would be assessed $74,436 and private property $427,149.

Assessments are based on net footage, in this project there are 5,070.70 feet which will be assessed at $98.92 per foot. The average assessment is $7,165.50, which would be paid over a five year period.

One of the first to speak was Lucille Daggett. She lives at 204 South Hudson Avenue and questioned why her street needs to be done; "blacktop was put in with curbs in the 70's, why do you need to replace that?" Lucille questioned the assessment on her property when she is unable to improve any of the buildings because of living in a flood plain. The assessment on her property is $11,425.06.

Bryan Holtz from Yaggy Colby replied that the utilities are driving this project. "The sanitary and storm sewers are out of date, they leak, and the water is rusty to many homes," said Holtz. "In the 90's the sewers were televised and they showed significant infiltration. At this point there are no exceptions but special circumstances will try to be worked through."

Holtz also indicated that there would be significant tree removal on Hudson; "50% of the trees there will go." he said.

According to Holtz there would be new sidewalks and curb and gutter, and plants or bushes that are on city property would need to be removed by the property owner.

A representative of the Historical Society asked about the length of time construction would be underway. "Probably most of the summer", replied Holtz. "We cannot lose an entire season of being in construction" was the reply from the crowd. The assessment on the Historical Society is $6,528.60.

All of the streets will be widened to 66 foot right of way with a 36 foot gutter to gutter distance.

Many of the questions centered on an individual's property, with clarification on sidewalks, driveways, retaining walls, etc. Parking during construction was an issue with several people and Holtz told them that every effort would be made to make their property accessible at the end of the day.

If the project is approved by the City Council another meeting will be held with property owners to answer their questions on the project. The council will put it on the agenda at a later date.

Other Business

In other business the council approved changing the name on the liquor license application for Johnny Ringo's at 112 South Broadway. The name of the holder will now be Amy Jacobson instead of Brad Jacobson.

• A very complete report to the City Council was given by Ambulance Director James Cooper. He reported that so far in 2007 there have been 329 calls which is about 20 calls ahead of last year at this time. The report said that two new people were brought onto the service. They are Shalene Eastling and Cindi Johnson. Cooper reported that 31 people are now on staff but three of them are college students and can only do limited call time. "There are still some scheduling issues and we are looking at some different ideas to help with the problem," continued Cooper. "However, the schedule is not nearly as hard to fill as it has been in the past".

Cooper also reported on the severe weather season and that it was a very quiet year with only 9 spotter activations for the year. The turnout for spotters was very good and we did not encounter any problems during the season.

• Parks Director John Fenske brought the council up to speed on the activity there. He indicated they are now getting ready for winter and all the fall activities have ended.

• Library Director Dianne Swenson-Sikkink reported that the library board will need to fill one seat at the end of the year. The seat will be for a three year term.

• The Sheriff's report was also given to the Council.

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